Radical media, politics and culture.


Anonymous Comrade submits:

Change the World Without Taking Power:

  The Meaning of Revolution Today

John Holloway (London, Pluto Press  2002)

Reviewed by Thomas Guthmann

"Political power grows from the barrel of a gun." (Mao Tse Tung)
As we know from history Mao gained power in China after a long civil war, including the Long March. At the beginning of 2001 the Mexican Zapatistas marched from Chiapas to the capital Mexico City. They did not come to power but spoke in the Mexican parliament and on the Zocalo, the main square of the Mexican capital.

John Holloway is one of the theoretical backers of the Zapatista insurgency. In his new book Change the World Without Taking Power -- The Meaning of Revolution Today, he draws a picture of a new form of revolution.

jim submits:

"Samuel R. Delany, Dangerous Visionary"

Anthony Miller, LA Weekly, May 9-15, 2003

Samuel R. Delany is an author so multifaceted in his identity that he navigates, with equal grace, the disparate worlds of academic conferences and comic-book conventions. As a black, gay science-fiction writer, Delany spans both highbrow literature and underground culture -- as comfortable discussing poststructuralism and semiotics as he is fetishism and S&M. On a quiet Sunday morning he meets me in an old taproom in midtown Manhattan. Carrying a cane and stroking his flowing white beard, Delany comments on the passersby who have likened him to Santa Claus; once, he laughs, he was instead compared to Karl Marx.

hydrarchist submits:

"The Ballad of Buenos

Toni Negri (trans. Nate Holdren*)

A critique of
the Italian edition of the book Notes for the New Social Protagonism
by Colectivo Situaciones

This book speaks of
the events of the 19th and 20th of December, 2001 in Argentina, when the inhabitants
of Buenos Aires took to the streets and aimed themselves at Congress, forcing
the flight of the President, and the successive resignation of the government.
But not only that: it also speaks of before and after the insurrection, speaks
of the new political and social situation that was aimed at dividing the miltary
dictatorship of 1976-83 and the neoliberal decade (1989-1999).

The Spring edition of "Perspectives on Anarchist Theory," the Institute
for Anarchist Studies' biannual newsletter, is now available online.

This issue of "Perspectives" interviews historian and radical critic
Howard Zinn. Also included is a piece on what everyday life is like for
Palestinians who live under a military occupation: what techniques are
used to maintain control; how violence and the threat of such differs
from other colonial regimes; and how anarchists may understand this
conflict and contribute to understanding and resistance. Also included
is Chuck Morse's regular contribution, "What's happening: Books and
Events," which reports on new books, articles, and other resources that
are relevant to the anarchist community.

Chuck Morse submits "
Chasing the Tornado

Review by Uri Gordon

Review of: The Trajectory of Change by Michael Albert Cambridge, MA:
South End Press, May 2002

Webs of Power: Notes from the Global Uprising by Starhawk Gabriola
Island, BC: New Society Publishers, August 2002

Change the World Without Taking Power by John Holloway London: Pluto
Press, March 2002

From the spring 2003 Issue of The
New Formulation: An Anti-Authoritarian Review of Books

In the ever-ticklish relationship between practice and theory, a significant
role has always existed for what we can call, for lack of a better name, “movement
literature.” Locke’s Two Treatises, Burke’s Reflections, Paine’s
response in Rights of Man, Marx and Engel’s Manifesto, Lenin’s What
Is To Be Done and Debray’s Critique of Arms—these are only the most
famous examples of works that were deeply rooted in their authors’ concrete
political activity and which reflected and influenced ongoing processes of social
transformation.(1) Not surprisingly, the current upsurge of anti-capitalist
struggle is also accompanied by a great bulk of such literature, with the three
books reviewed here being merely a selection from the most recent crop. Two
of the authors, Michael Albert and Starhawk, are veteran American activists
and the third, Holloway is an involved academic closely following the Zapatista
rebellion. These books all convey an ongoing process of self-assessment by today’s
emancipatory networks. However, each one also displays a completely different
variant of writing-as-activism. Michael Albert’s The Trajectory of Change
adopts a very didactic approach, attempting to identify “problems”
in an allegedly unitary “movement” and sort them out. Starhawk’s
Webs of Power, on the other hand, combines very personal writing with theoretical
reflections that are only gently presented as advice to activists. While Holloway’s
Change the World Without Taking Power could just as well be written without
a coexisting struggle to address—it is an entirely theoretical work in
critical Marxism—it nevertheless captures (and will inevitably impact)
the thinking of activists who read it. Each approach, as we shall shortly see,
has telling results.

jim writes:

"On Robin Kelley's Freedom Dreams"

Franklin Rosemont

"The dream too, must have its Bastille Day!" -- Nicolas Calas
Robin D. G. Kelley, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination.

Boston: Beacon Press: 2002. 248 pages. Cloth, $24.00

Few writers have done more to stimulate new ways of looking at surrealism than Robin D. G. Kelley, and the reason is simple: He himself has dared, again and again, to look at surrealism in new ways. His important and exhilarating new book, Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination, fully confirms his central role in the current resurgence of the surrealist movement throughout the world.

dr.woooo writes:

Empire For the Multitude?

The day that I finished Empire by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri was also the day that I read Rob los Ricos' review, "Empire for Beginners" (Anarchy #53). Ricos' overall criticism of globalization is very relevant, but he does not see that he and the authors of Empire are often in agreement. He recounts the history contained in the book without working with the concepts, which are a very important part. Ricos claims to point out the precepts of Hardt and Negri: progressivism, Marxism, Euro-centrism, and an "enthusiasm for the arrival of this horribly dehumanizing Empire under which we live." However, none of these precepts are Hardt or Negri's.

Chuck Morse writes "

Review of Silencing Political Dissent: How Post-September 11th Anti-Terrorism Measures Threaten our Civil Liberties by Nancy Chang, The Terrorism Trap: September 11th and Beyond by Michael Parenti, and Terrorism and War by Howard Zinn. From the current issue of The New Formulation: An Anti-Authoritarian
Review of Books (February 2003, Vol. 2, No. 2). See



Paul Glavin

The State in Hyper-Drive: the Post-September 11th U.S.

Silencing Political Dissent: How Post-September 11th Anti-Terrorism Measures Threaten our Civil Liberties

By Nancy Chang

New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002

The Terrorism Trap: September 11th and Beyond

By Michael Parenti

San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2002

Terrorism and War

By Howard Zinn (edited by Anthony Arnove)

New York: Seven Stories Press, 2002


hydrarchist writes

Since early 2001 theoretical debate has been dominated by Hardt and Negri's work "Empire". For many in the anglophone world this has been a first engagement with 'autonomist marxism', which nonetheless remains enigmatic when it comes to practice, represented in the imagination only by the White Overalls (now recycled as the Disobedients).

Some of the gaps in this picture are now remedied by the appearance online of the full text of George Katsiaficas's The Subversion of Politics: European Autonomous Social Movements and the Decolonization of Everyday Life. Originally published in 1997, and poorly known until after the Seattle demonstrations of 1999, the book provides a panoramic, although impressionistic, survey of European extraparliamentary politics since the 1970s. Italy's long '68, culminating in Autonomia and the movement of 1977, recieves a chapter to itself, although this influence of the theoretical practical innnovations of the Italian movement are never woven into the fabric of the book (1).


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